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Removal of terminal alpha-galactosyl residues from xenogeneic porcine endothelial cells. Decrease in complement-mediated cytotoxicity but persistence of IgG1-mediated antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity

Removal of terminal alpha-galactosyl residues from xenogeneic porcine endothelial cells. Decrease in complement-mediated cytotoxicity but persistence of IgG1-mediated antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity

Transplantation 62(1): 105-113

ISSN/ISBN: 0041-1337

PMID: 8693523

To determine the role of the terminal alpha-galactosyl residue in the endothelial damage mediated by human xenoreactive natural antibodies (IgM and IgG), we treated porcine endothelial cells in culture with green coffee bean alpha-galactosidase. A practically complete removal of terminal alpha-Gal residues (as evaluated by flow cytometry with Bandeiraea simplicifolia isolectin B4) and concomitant exposure of N-acetyllactosamine were obtained without altering cell viability. A dramatic decrease in IgM and IgG binding (from a pool of human sera) was observed, confirming the key role of the alpha-galactosyl residues. The enzyme treatment did not induce any nonspecific immunoglobulin binding sites, but led to the exposure of new epitopes for a minor fraction of IgM. The main residual IgM and IgG binding could be due to xenoantigens other than the alpha-galactosyl residues. When alpha-galactosidase-treated endothelial cells were used as targets in cytotoxicity experiments, they were less susceptible than untreated cells to complement-mediated cytotoxicity induced by fresh human serum. In contrast, they did not acquire resistance to human IgG-dependent cellular cytotoxicity, despite the decrease in IgG binding. Because it is known that antibody-dependent cytotoxicity mediated by CD16+ NK cells is dependent on IgG1 and IgG3, and not on IgG2 or IgG4, which was confirmed by blocking experiments, we studied the binding of all four subclasses to intact and alpha-galactosidase-treated endothelial cells. Two major subclasses, IgG1 and IgG2, bound to untreated endothelial cells, whereas IgG3 binding was low and IgG4 binding was negligible. A decrease in IgG1, IgG2, and IgG3 binding was observed upon alpha-galactosidase treatment, indicating that antibodies belonging to these three subclasses recognize alpha-galactosyl residues. The decrease in IgG2 binding was more pronounced than the decrease in IgG1 binding. Collectively, these data indicate that IgG1 xenoreactive natural antibodies, including those which are not directed at the alpha-galactosyl residues, could play a major role in the early delayed vascular rejection of pig xenografts.

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Accession: 009336073

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